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tomshep 08-19-2019 11:16 PM

Starting the Search for an ERA
 
2 Attachment(s)
The time has come.

As many of you understand, getting a Cobra is a journey. It has been on my bucket list since my teens. I've restored a 69 428 CJ Mach I and currently have a 1995 Cobra R Race Car and 2014 GT500. Pics below. Time to add a Cobra.

I've read about various kits for years. The finalists were CSX, Backdraft, SPF and ERA. I just can't see the money for the CSX because I want a car to drive and not be worried about every chip. The Backdraft and SPF just don't look right to me and I don't care for the low-profile tire look. The ERA just pushes the right buttons.

I'm not in a rush, I've waited this long. I am wanting a side-oiler or top-oiler. I would also consider an aluminum motor. After that the wish list includes a TKO and outboard brakes unless the price was really attractive.

After reading through the ERA site a few times, I have a few questions.

At chassis 731 there were major changes.

What date did this occur and how many have been built since?

Do ALL kits include a soft top and toneau?

I appreciate any help and insight. I am sure I will have more questions and thank you in advance.

Tom

Dominik 08-20-2019 01:22 AM

Tom, this site is great for your questions, but you could call ERA and they will happily answer!

Sawdust 08-20-2019 04:28 AM

Tom
Check out the Red ERA on Cobra Country. ERA #389 owned by Jamie Wheaton. It's gorgeous!

66AC 08-20-2019 05:06 AM

Hi Tom:
Welcome to Club Cobra and your quest for an ERA. I have owned #375 since 1993 and they are fantastic and simple machines. Their support and manuals have proven extremely valuable over the years. Yes, there have been some changes to the ERA over the years as the product evolved. Luckily, Bob maintains the chronological order of these by versioning the Manuals via a Chassis number range.

Obviously, the lower the chassis number the older the ERA.

There are two major and two minor variants to the ERA. First would be the big block 427 chassis vs the small block 289 chassis. The big block has within it two major variants.... Under Car exhaust and no roll bar or hood scoop (essentially a roadster), vs the more racing oriented Semi Comp with the side pipe exhaust and the roll bar and hood scoop.

With the 289 you can go the FIA route with the roll bar and brace side exhaust and hood scoop or the roadster without those options. Or any variant you desire.

There are probably about 1000+ ERAs out on the road when you combine the two models. So there is somewhat large potential to find a nice existing ERA on the market. It can be somewhat helpful to find one in your own state so that title transfer and registration are easier.

I do not know what the lead time is on the current ERA production line however that is something that you need to find out directly from ERA.

So, as an owner of an "early" ERA I would tell you that I am very happy with the car and the company and their support. They throw a nice Xmas party too.

Good Luck with your search.

patrickt 08-20-2019 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tomshep (Post 1465768)

After reading through the ERA site a few times, I have a few questions.

At chassis 731 there were major changes.

What date did this occur and how many have been built since?

Do ALL kits include a soft top and toneau?

I appreciate any help and insight. I am sure I will have more questions and thank you in advance.

Tom

I own ERA 732 and both 730 (old style) and 731 (new style) were on the shop floor when mine was being built. That was 2006. All kits do NOT include a soft top or tonneau. You must pay for that if you want it. I have a soft top and side curtains, but not a tonneau. I almost never use them, but I have them, because they look really cool and are a real PITA to do later. ERAs are, I think, the best Cobra replica available, bar none, unless you really want an aluminum body, then you should go KMS. The two downsides are: 1) Price and 2) The Wait Period. For a 100% turnkey, nicely equipped, car you can expect to pay six figures and wait, possibly, up to almost two years. If you're serious about an ERA, send Peter a five grand check tomorrow. If you change your mind, he'll send it back, no questions asked.:cool:

mrmustang 08-20-2019 03:22 PM

Tom,

Does these mean the Zippo "R" is for sale? Does Doc know :D

Bill

6TNCRZY 08-20-2019 03:42 PM

My new FIA (3158) is in process, I will be selling my beautiful 427 (649) in the near future. It is a great car with 12000 miles, well built 428 and has all the accessories, top, tonnaeu, stainless side pipes and more.

6TNCRZY 08-20-2019 04:00 PM

There is a picture in my gallery. Let me know if you would like more details.

dacobb 08-20-2019 04:03 PM

The price and the wait, those are the two main variables. ERA will build a turn-key or just the frame and body, with boxes of stuff to finish, if you want to do all the work. Or just about anything in between.

Current wait time is about two years, but confirm this with ERA. I know they are busy, which attests to the popularity of their cars.

tomshep 08-20-2019 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sawdust (Post 1465773)
Tom
Check out the Red ERA on Cobra Country. ERA #389 owned by Jamie Wheaton. It's gorgeous!

Yes, I was looking at it a few days ago. It is beautiful. The motor is spot on but I am looking for an O/D transmission. No outboard brakes which would be a good bonus and I want a later chassis.

Thank you for the heads up.

Tom

tomshep 08-20-2019 10:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrmustang (Post 1465787)
Tom,

Does these mean the Zippo "R" is for sale? Does Doc know :D

Bill

Hi Bill,

Oh no, the Zippo R is staying put! I can still climb my butt over the door bar and have some fun. Doc is too consumed with his new 350. This is just more fun in life I need!

Tom

tomshep 08-20-2019 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dacobb (Post 1465790)
The price and the wait, those are the two main variables. ERA will build a turn-key or just the frame and body, with boxes of stuff to finish, if you want to do all the work. Or just about anything in between.

Current wait time is about two years, but confirm this with ERA. I know they are busy, which attests to the popularity of their cars.

I'm not interested in a build. I don't want to wait and I will let someone else take the hit on the cost of a build plus drivetrain. I've waited 30 years, it won't hurt if this takes a few months, or longer, to get what I am looking for. I appreciate the advice.

Tom

tomshep 08-20-2019 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 6TNCRZY (Post 1465788)
My new FIA (3158) is in process, I will be selling my beautiful 427 (649) in the near future. It is a great car with 12000 miles, well built 428 and has all the accessories, top, tonnaeu, stainless side pipes and more.

Beautiful car. I will keep it in mind but ideally it would need to be a newer chassis and 427.

Tom

6TNCRZY 08-21-2019 06:28 AM

You may need to order a new car from ERA if you want the newer chassis, there are only about 100 new ones out there. I would send them a deposit today, 26 months and the body is not on the chassis of my new one yet. The cars are amazing, but the wait is agonizing.

patrickt 08-21-2019 08:40 AM

The changes beginning with ERA #731 are pretty significant. The only change since that big upgrade point (2006) has to do with the steering column mounts that began with #758 and on. Before #731, the cars were more similar than not until you go back to the really early cars.

vntgspd 08-21-2019 09:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tomshep (Post 1465800)
Beautiful car. I will keep it in mind but ideally it would need to be a newer chassis and 427.

Tom

I can't remember if I saw the details on the ERA site or on here regarding the new vs. old chassis but I suggest you familiarize yourself with the changes. If I recall correctly, the changes were evolutionary and would not be readily noticeable during ownership. I know they did revise the body a bit. I actually prefer the pre-updated body but that is subjective. :cool:

There was a change further back where they changed to round tubing for the front shock mount cross-bracing and changed the rear bulkhead in the cockpit to better mimic the original cars. I do prefer these changes even though they are purely aesthetic.

If you consider a pre-731 chassis then your market may increase dramatically but your experience will likely remain the same.

Patrickt may provide a better opinion on this as well...

patrickt 08-21-2019 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vntgspd (Post 1465816)
Patrickt may provide a better opinion on this as well...

If you're willing to wait two years, then you're going to get the latest vintage by default. You can see the exact changes to the cars, and when they occurred, by going here: 427 Frequently Asked Questions and scrolling down, past the picture of me, about three quarters of the way to the bottom, until you get to What changes have been made since the beginning? and there's a chart that outlines them. IMO, anything after 350 will do you just fine, but anything after 731 is particularly nice. The outboard braked rear is a joy to own, but putting it in to an earlier car (pre-565) is dicey. And yes, I do look great in that pic.:cool:

desgros@vtlink. 08-21-2019 11:22 AM

Tom,

I have owned Slabside ERA #3010 since 26 June 2014. It was my second Cobra. The first was not an ERA for which I was soon sorry. I could not be happier with my Slabaside (a turnkey) or the after delivery attention they (Peter) have given.

Great people who make an outstanding Cobra.

John
ERA #3010 289 Slabside BRG

sea2jet 08-21-2019 12:19 PM

The new body is a huge improvement over the old one. I’ve owned both. No more rivets running along the bottom of the rocker. Sure, you have to get down on the ground to notice, but the new body is so much closer to the original. Definitely worth it if you can find a post 731 car.

fastd 08-22-2019 09:19 AM

interested to know since OP said something about outboard brakes being a bit of a non-starter; i have inboard brakes on my ERA and don't feel like it's been a problem...i have 11k miles on mine and probably wouldn't ever have to change them...I however did have them changed (by someone else) to get a more aggressive pad.

If I had the outboard brakes, would my life be somehow better?


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